By Chris Fotache
The Middletown Board of Education is attempting to borrow $32 million through a voter referendum on Tuesday March 11, 2014. You have probably not even heard of this because they are doing their best to keep it a secret so that only the school PTA’s and PFA’s (their cheerleaders) are the only ones who come out to vote. They have them brainwashed that this is such a great idea. What many people fail to realize is that the BOE spent $8 million over the last 2 years replacing roofs that needed to be fixed. This was done with extra money left over in the budget. And it was done with only 1% tax increases over the last 3 years. Why now does this new BOE need to pay an architect $1.3 million to do this work all over again? They paid this very same architect over $200K over the last year to do this same exact work. Why are they paying them again???
The answer is they can’t explain it. They refuse to answer any questions. They say vote for it because it’s for the kids. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE WE HEARD THAT BEFORE?
While it’s important to have the schools safe and running in a functional manner, the new Board’s level of mismanagement, misinformation, and incompetence is staggering. These repairs will get done whether the referendum passes or not as it’s the Boards’ obligation to do especially since the repairs are now public.
The board owns 11 properties in town worth millions that they could sell to fund these fixtures. Why are they not selling them and asking the tax payer to fund this. If the referendum fails, they will be forced to sell some and use that money to fix the schools AT NO COST TO THE TAXPAYER.
Don’t forget that not so long ago, a $78 million referendum was passed to upgrade schools. So if they were mismanaged in the past, what guarantee do we have that these $32 mil won’t go to waste?
The Board just put a new turf field last year, and is currently looking to put another turf field probably near Thorne Middle School. Why are we not using that money to fix the schools?
And it won’t end here. The BOE is scheduled to vote on next year’s tax levy and they plan on hitting you with another 2% increase on top of the referendum. They just want your money.
The main argument I see for voting Yes on the Middletown referendum is that there is taxpayer money available to spend, so let’s not miss the opportunity to spend it, even if that means borrowing $19 million more that taxpayers will pay later. Welcome to the Age of Obama. Don’t forget that the state grant money is still our taxpayer money!
I’m voting NO on March 11, and I’d like you to do the same. Your tax dollars are being wasted by a Board of Ed and administration that has no other plan than to spend your hard earned money unnecessarily. It’s time to put a stop to it!